Well I did as promised and went over to the pawn shop right after work and nabbed that Minolta prime
. I also ran past the foto shop (yeah thats how they spell it... good thing its not a booc store
), and got some cleaner and went to town on this thing. I cleaned up VERY nicely and looks fairly new. However, I noticed that it looks like there is something inside the lens that I didn't notice before, it almost looks like it could be a piece of dust, but it appears bright and I can only see at certain angles...... am I seeing some refraction by chance, its only on one side of the glass (Camera side) and in one corner of the glass as well.... What would be a good background to shoot this lens against to check or look for imperfections?
Aside from that it shoots quite nicely and AF's quite fast (I think even faster than the kit-zoom that came with the camera). If you'd like to see the pics i've got of random things laying around my house as a test, and would like them as 100's to check for the dust, let me know.
If you've already got a fair collection of lenses and would be interested, go for it
. I'm having fun learning the tricks of the trade. You may have gotten the hard part out of the way (buying stuff after already having dropped 500.00 on just a body). I like my A230 so far, but im just a novice at best at this point, I figured 495.00 to get into this wasn't too bad, that included a camera bag, UV filter, camera with kit-zoom lens and the LCD screen protector (399.00 for the camera/kit)
If you do decide to give it a go, I'd recommend http://www.michaelthementor.com
for the starting lessons, he has videos setup for each photography concept and down-loadable pdf files with homework... yes I said homework. The assignments are a bit fun for a beginner, helps to practice some of the basic concepts of photo composition. I moved almost directly into the intermediate as my biggest trouble comes from the lighting and settings "Department". You'll notice that most of his videos are shot sort of "Fly by the seat of your pants" which I think makes the experience a little more relaxed. It feels more like a friend sitting down explaining things to you instead of taking a photography class with a teacher. I haven't put entirely too much stock in their forums just yet as they....
1.) Aren't nearly as active as TR
2.) Are nice people but I'm not so sure I'd get the "tough" love that I need when asking opinions of my shots.
3.) They don't have anyone that I know of over there that really shoots Sony, so all Sony related questions get unanswered.
4.) The TR members seem to be much more knowledgeable about some of the higher end stuff and are a bit more enthusiast about it.
5.) I love TR and would prefer to have it be my one stop shop.
This isn't to say that I wont try and use their forums from time to time, im still in the skeptical phase ATM.